Foley Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Hills Vineyard 1997, Santa Maria Valley
In the wine business if someone asks you what your favorite varietal is you are supposed to say “Pinot Noir”. This gives the appearance of sophistication and insight because of the complex nature of this grape. With my lack of sophistication and insight I usually answer Syrah or Sangiovese or anything else. I do enjoy Pinot Noir but, it is a fickle grape. Most really good Pinots, in my opinion, have an elusive window of opportunity where the wine is drinking it’s best. This week I found an open window.
The Foley Pinot Noir 1997 is a winner from accomplished wine maker Allen Phillips, formerly of Byington Winery in Santa Cruz. This is not your fathers Pinot Noir, it is made in a very forward and modern style. For a Pinot Noir it is very dark in color with a powerful nose of primarily eucalyptus, coconut, raspberries, cedar and oak. On the palate this wine shows huge extraction levels of vibrant cherries, raspberry menthol and plums. The flavors hold strong and develop with a firm oak finish. Two weeks to Thanksgiving and I have already found my Pinot Noir. Now I can sleep at night. Enjoy. $26. -CG